Sometime bartender, midwife and reverend, O'Connor's true calling may lie as a remarkable interpreter of song. Though recent years have found her adding dewy vocal harmonies for Andrew Bird's Bowl Of Fire (and Mavis Staples), her solo debut is long overdue. A brace of impressive originals—"My Backyard", "Tonight"—are whispers of classic honky-tonk, but she truly shines on covers of James (Squirrel Nut Zippers) Mathus' "Bottoms" and "Nightingale", twisting each into the kind of lovelorn ballad Alison Krauss would kill for.

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Nora O’Connor – Til The Dawn

Sometime bartender, midwife and reverend, O’Connor’s true calling may lie as a remarkable interpreter of song. Though recent years have found her adding dewy vocal harmonies for Andrew Bird’s Bowl Of Fire (and Mavis Staples), her solo debut is long overdue. A brace of impressive originals?”My Backyard”, “Tonight”?are whispers of classic honky-tonk, but she truly shines on covers of James (Squirrel Nut Zippers) Mathus’ “Bottoms” and “Nightingale”, twisting each into the kind of lovelorn ballad Alison Krauss would kill for. The muted boom-chicka-boom of Matt Weber’s “OK With Me” is equally gripping, as is Lori Carson closer “Down Here”.